Earlier today Lewis Shepherd  commented on a blog post that I had written last year.  In that comment he proposed  “Knowledge Artist” as a better phrase or term than “knowledge worker” or “information worker,” to describe people who work in information-dense but critically informed, pensive environments, whether it’s in the Beltway, on Wall Street, or in a media-centric career. …… better than “knowledge worker,” with its tone of drudgery and labor….”

The idea of being a “knowledge artist” intrigues, inspires and excites me since I think the term probably describes the holistic nature of what I am trying to do better than the phrase  knowledge worker.  That doesn’t mean that a knowledge artist does not experience drudgery at time but uses both art and science to weave many components together to create, use and share knowledge.  My focus tends to be on the visual which is where my personal artistic skills are concentrated.  But art takes many forms.  I have been inspired by John Kao’s discussion of innovation and creativity in his book “Jamming” where he talks about his experiences as a jazz musician.  And I have resonated to David Whyte’s ideas on the use of poetry in corporate America (see his book “The Heart Aroused – Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America”).  I also found Daniel Pink’s book on “A Whole New Mind” enlightening as he looks at skill sets generally designated as right-brained (versus the logical left side of the brain) that have been undervalued.  I started this blog to start discussing these kinds of thoughts to see how we could balance logic with emotion in a way that helps inform intuition (the “ah-ha moment”) and yet cross-checks the imagination.  

I have no idea where this journey to understand “knowledge artists” will be going, but it should be filled with learning and creativity even if the term turns out to be invalid.   I will look forward to hearing all your ideas along the way.

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